Petersburg is located at the north end of the Wrangell Narrows. This 21 mile narrow passage connects Sumner Strait on the south end to Frederick Sound on the north end.
It is a busy waterway with almost all South East Alaska traffic passing thru these narrows. We have spent most of our cruising time exploring the waters north of the Wrangell Narrows. Today we are excited to be heading south to explore some new anchorages. With over 60 navigational aids and range markers to keep track of, we must keep a constant watch. In addition to the navigational challenges the currents run up to 6 knots and switch directions half way thru the narrows. We time our passage to take best advantage of these strong currents. The passage is not as difficult as it sounds but you do need to keep a constant watch.
We are fortunate today with no large ship traffic to contend with in these narrow channels. We do pass a small Nat Geo cruise ship heading to Petersburg. We also have lots of small boats out trying to catch king salmon that we must navigate around.
The current is running swift as we exit Wrangell Narrows into Sumner Strait. Twenty four miles later we make a brief detour into a small inlet to check out Point Baker. This small fishing community looks to be all boarded up. There is a public float here with several boats alongside. The boats look as if they have been here for awhile. The trading post and bar appear to be closed. As we are leaving, a young lady appears outside the post office and takes our picture. Wonder what that was all about? Maybe they haven’t seen anyone in awhile.
A few miles west on Sumner Strait is another small cove known as Port Protection. There was a National Geographic TV series Life Below Zero /Port Protection which aired for several seasons. We had to cruise thru just out of curiosity. It is similar to Point Baker with a long wooden float leading up to the Trading Post. The public float is taken up with a lot of old boats. Back in March the TV series main character died here when his house burned. We decide not to stop. As we turn around, a friendly voice on the VHF hails us and offers docking space. We politely decline but may stop here in the future.
Our destination anchorage known as Labouchere Bay is just around the point. It is located on Prince of Whales Island and friends have reported it to have good King Salmon fishing. This is one of only a few areas that are open for king salmon fishing right now. Most of the interior waterways don’t open until June 15th. We count over forty eagles on the small rocky islet marking our entrance. That is always a good indication that fish are around.
We carefully wind our way around the numerous islands and reefs and anchor off a nice sandy beach.
There are lots of sea otters in the anchorage. They sure are cute but that also means there are no crabs around.
Many of the otters are carrying their pups on their bellies. This one looks awfully big to be hitching a ride.
We are out in the dinghy the next day trolling for king Salmon. The conditions seem perfect with lots of wildlife all around. A whale is feeding and surfaces just feet from our small boat. It was a little too close for comfort with us in our 11 foot craft.
The water is boiling with herring trying to escape predators below.
We have about twenty eagles feeding on the herring. It is an amazing sight to watch these magnificent birds diving all around us as they try to snag an unsuspecting fish. Although we never catch any salmon, it was a special day out on the water with the eagles and whales.
After two great days at Labrouchere , we are now heading inland to the port of Wrangell to wait out some bad weather. Thanks for following along.